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CONNECT THE WORLD
Alex Tsipras Sworn in as Greek Prime Minister; Transformations: Maastricht A2; Thousands of Flights Canceled in U.S. Northeast Ahead of Massive Storm; Obama Guest of Honor at India Parade; Putin Calls Ukraine's Army "NATO's Foreign Legion"; Violence Surges in Ukraine; US Closing Embassy in Yemen Amid Unrest
Aired January 26, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXIS TSIPRAS, PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE (through translator): Greece is turning a page. Greece is leaving behind catastrophic austerity. It is
leaving behind the fear and the autocracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Left and right come together in Greece as this man, Alexis Tsipras, strikes a crucial deal that sees him sworn in as the country's new
This hour, we're going to tell you what is anti-austerity agenda could mean for Greece, for Europe and for the world.
Also ahead, a Bromance blossoms between the leaders of the world's two biggest democracies. We'll bring you the latest from New Delhi as Barack
Obama joins India's Republic Day festivities.
And a master of his craft inspired a new generation of Middle Eastern actors. I sit down with Kevin Spacey in the Emirate of Sharjah.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: Well, we start with political upheaval in Greece this evening, and an anti-austerity wave of anger. The new prime minister wants
to export Alexis Tsipras as being sworn in one day after his Syriza Party swept parliamentary elections. He's also taken the first steps in forming
his anti-bailout coalition, choosing a tiny right-wing party.
At his victory rally last night, Mr. Tsipras told crowds that Greece had turned a page. And he promised an end to, quote, five years of
All right, coming back to that story for you.
And Japan reaching out to Jordan to help with a hostage crisis. ISIS has allegedly killed one Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, whom you see here
on the right, and has issued a new ultimatum to spare the life of the second one, Kenji Goto, who is on the left of a video posted online, which
demands a release of a convicted terrorist in Jordan.
She is an Iraqi woman who is facing the death penalty for her role in a series of bombing in 2005 that killed dozens of people.
Well, our Jomana Karadsheh is in Amman. Jomana, what is the latest from Jordan with these Japanese efforts to free what is this remaining
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, over the past week, the Japanese government set up here a crisis center at the
embassy in Amman. It's headed by the deputy foreign minister and Japanese officials say they're working closely with Jordanian officials and also
working on regional efforts to try and secure the release of Mr. Goto.
Now so far officials, both Jordanian and the Japanese, have been very tight-lipped about what is going on. One would assume here, Becky, that
the reason they are working with the Jordanians is Jordan has its own hostage situation, that pilot who was captured by ISIS when his fighter jet
crashed in December. And Jordan possibly has these open channels that the Japanese here could utilize.
But nothing coming out from the Japanese or Jordanian officials at this point about what is going on and if these negotiations are getting
ANDERSON: Well, how likely is it that Jordan release Rishawi?
KARADSHEH: Well, Jordan is in a very tough position here, Becky. Before, the last time we heard of Rishawi has been over the past month
really. There has been speculation here in Jordan that there could be a possible swap, a possible deal to exchange her for the pilot.
Now it's really putting the Jordanian government in that tough position, because if this deal does go through, some find it very unlikely
that the Jordanians would do that, really concede to an ISIS demand here and release Sajida Rishawi, but if that does happen it does put them in a
very difficult position here within the country internally because Jordanians would rather in this case, people we've spoken to, would rather
see Rishawi exchanged for the Jordanian pilot, for example.
But others we've spoken to say this is more of a move by ISIS really to embarrass the Jordanian government, a U.S. ally, a key member of the
anti-ISIS coalition and really seen as an enemy state by ISIS. So they are putting them in this position where Jordan is going to look really bad in a
very difficult position.
Of course, Becky, there's also the issue of not wanting to create a precedent here of releasing a prisoner and caving in to a demand by a
But just last year if you recall Jordan was in a similar position, less high profile than this when the Jordanian ambassador to Libya was
kidnapped by a militant group there. And he was exchanged and it was an apparent swap. The Jordanian government denied that there was a deal or a
swap. But he was exchanged for a Libyan militant who was serving a prison sentence here in Jordan, Becky.
ANDERSON: Jomana is in Amman for you this evening.
And still to come, Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing NATO of playing a major part in the fighting in Ukraine. I'm going to tell you
what he had to say and what NATO's response was.
First up, though, reaction to the new political landscape in Greece. How the new anti-austerity government can go about following through on its
promises. That is next on Connect the World.
ANDERSON: This is CNN. Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
We will get you back now to our top story and the news of a new government in Greece. Incoming Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has now got
to deliver on what are some pretty ambitious pledges.
CNN's Isa Soares is in Athens covering this story for us. This is so much more than just a Greek election, Isa, this is a result and we'll see a
young relatively inexperienced politician go head to head with some of Europe's most experienced political negotiators and what happens in Greece
going forward certainly does not stay in Greece, does it?
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not, Becky, we know that already the populist party, the first-time left-wing party is
come into power in Greece and now only one populist party is coming to power, now we're seeing two with the coalition that has been formed of the
Independent Greeks, many people not expecting to see Independent Greeks, the ring-wing party joining forces with Syriza. They were more actually
expecting more (inaudible) to actually take power.
But this is interesting, because they're both very much (inaudible). They only have one ideological really belief that they agree on and that is
anti-austerity. They both want to end austerity in Greece. Other than that, they're very, very different people. I mean, the right -- the right-
wing in Greece have been accused of being anti-Semitic. They oppose immigration. Actually, they want to see the role of the Orthodox Church
play a bigger role in education.
But they have one thing in common and that is obviously austerity. And that is an indication from Alexis Tsipras of Syriza that they will take
a tough stance with the creditors, but other than that there's not many people saying a recipe for success.
But now they have to form a new government. We saw today -- earlier today, Alexis Tsipras visiting a president and now getting ready to form a
government. Now the hard work begins, Becky. And the hard work -- and they have a lot of hard work. Not only has it got to form a government,
but he also had to try and convince his creditors to renegotiate the bailout. Whether they will budge remains to be seen.
Already today, we have heard several people right from Berlin to Brussels saying, you know, very conciliatory words for many people saying
it's great. We will talk to them. We are ready to talk. But they have to remember they have to honor the terms of their agreement.
So it remains to be scene whether what we have seen from Alexis Tsipras. It's basically just promises. And whether he is really he is
just political posturing and that we'll see in the next couple of weeks.
Worth reminding viewers, of course, Becky, that they -- Greece has asked for a debt extension to the current bailout. And that ends in
If they agree not to stick the plan of austerity, then the 7 billion euros they're expected to receive, they won't get them.
So, that is crucial. And that's why we're seeing such a quick move from Alexis Tsipras today -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, all right. Thank you, Isa, for that.
The -- after the slap comes the sitdown. The bailout program expires at the end of next month, so the new government will be around the table
with its lenders.
Let's bring in CNN's Emerging Markets editor who has forgotten more about Greece than probably you and I will ever know.
John Defterios is on the story for you. And Tsipras' promise to end Greece's humiliation, John, and pain, can he deliver on his promises?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, he certainly has a mandate. Often left out of this story is he had a 2-to-1 margin of victory
over the New Democracy, 2-for-1 in parliament to work with. He picked up his new coalition partner, which is the far right.
So an interesting (inaudible) here, far left and far right. And he came in ringing alarm bells suggesting that the troika is a think of the
past. He's referring to the package of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union.
The bailout package is 240 billion euros. And as it was suggesting, this is going to all play out very quickly by the end of February, early
March. But it's not a simple equation, Becky. He's basically suggesting debt relief. Let's take a listen to what he's got on the cards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nobody wants to impose anything on Greece, but the commitments are still valid. And in the last
years, we have always made these commitments to help Greece. The country has made big improvements in the last years. If they ask us for advice, we
can give advice, but not without them asking us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: So that is the European Commissioner for high technology, but it was interesting it was a German speaking out, Mr. Uttegur (ph). And
he was basically drawing the lines -- it's interesting, Tsipras made a big, bold statement suggesting this debt relief package is something of the
past. Germany immediately came out and said, look, we're going to treat Greece like we did before the election just like we will after the
election. There's no leeway here to change the debt agreement.
ANDERSON: So the question, will Europe compromise with Mr. Tsipras? I think you've for all intents and purposes are answered for me. What,
then, is the prospect of the people -- the people of Greece will feel that they have been woefully let down going forward by what is this new
administration voted in by a lot of young people who were looking for a lot of change in Greece?
DEFTERIOS: Yeah, in fact, this is not just new trend in Europe right now. But we've had governments in Italy, Spain, Portugal, even at the core
of Europe -- France -- all voting for change. And they have been let down because they thought they can get a reworking of the austerity package.
Alexis Tsipras is promising the same.
Now if you look at the debt to GDP ratio for Greece right now, it's 174 percent to GDP. But the end of 2020, Becky, it just moves down to 124
And I dug through the numbers. You and I had this conversation a little bit earlier. Greece has the most favorable terms in terms of their
debt right now. They're just paying 3 percent on the interest. And the debt is stretched out to 2054.
But the problem is that the debt burden is so heavy. So there's no option to stretch it out further. Can't bring the interest rate down any
lower. It's debt forgiveness or not.
So you heard the German position. And this is a real threat to the EuroZone going forward, because you can open the dyke and everybody is
going to ask for the same.
ANDERSON: John, 40-year-old Tsipras is very consciously counting himself as a man of the people and a breath of fresh air in a country
disgusted by stale politics and stifling economic cuts. I want, if we can for our viewers, and we are having some technical difficulties tonight so
do forgive us. Let's see if we can just get something from his victory speech here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TSIPRAS (through translator): Today there are no winners and losers, today Greece's elite and Greece's oligarchs were defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: What chance if this does work -- we talked about whether he might woefully let down the Greeks like others have been let down across
Europe. But if he succeeds, could this be a model for other European countries going forward? Because if so, this would be quite a sea change
for European politics.
DEFTERIOS: That's why we're watching it so carefully. So Greece is just a population of 12 million people. It had the worst debt crisis. It
was the last to elect a leader lurching to the left, as I say. But if in fact it can ask for debt relief going forward, but I think it's unlikely,
Becky. And again looking at the numbers, the EuroZone countries own 60 percent of Greece's $380 billion of debt right now. So they're not going
to be willing to start knocking down the debt package for Tsipras moving forward.
The other real challenge here right now is that -- and I talked to a Greek CEO on the ground today. They're saying there's a big gap between
Tsipras and what he's promising to the people and what they're thinking in Germany right now, or what they're thinking in Brussels. And they're
calling it the Kolatupa (ph) that he may have to make. It's the Greek backflip, political realities are very, very different.
And I had a chance to meet Tsipras two years ago chairing a roundtable with him. Incredibly charismatic, but below all of that you can find out
he's very pragmatic. So he's not going to want to throw Greece overboard here and try to leave the European Union. He may have to be forced to
leave the euro. And that's going to be the big test, because if one goes it could have others asking to do the same if they don't get the debt
ANDERSON: If I asked you to do a Greek backflip now, would you do it for me?
DEFTERIOS: It's a long ways down.
ANDERSON: It is a long ways down.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure.
John Defterios in the house for you on everything you need to know about Greece, its elections and its impact on Europe and the rest of the
Weather forecasters are calling it a crippling and potentially historic blizzard. And the northeastern United States from Boston through
New York and Philadelphia is about to feel its bite. Up to a meter of snow is expected to fall over the next 24 hours. Airlines have canceled
thousands of flights ahead of the storm.
CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh joins me now from LaGuardia Airport in New York. Seeing some of the most cancellations is the
traveling public ready for this?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, here's the good news about this, if there is any. You know, a lot of the airlines what they did
is they were proactive. They canceled many flights before this storm fully moved in. So a lot of people got word before they even got to the airport.
That being said, the cancellations are just continuing to build up just hour by hour. I mean, we got here relatively early this morning and
there were still flights taking off, but now when you look at the arrival and departure boards you're seeing a lot more red and orange. And those
are the colors you do not want to see if you are hoping to get out of LaGuardia Airport; the red, obviously canceled, the orange delayed.
And again as I say, as the hours go by we're seeing less on times and we're seeing a lot more canceled.
So far between today and tomorrow, we're talking about 5,300 flights already canceled. Again, that's between today and tomorrow. And we're
starting to hear from major airlines like American Airlines. They tell CNN that they are essentially suspending all of their flights into New York
hubs, also into airports like Philadelphia and Boston. So no flights going in or out. They will have limited, very limited operations tomorrow.
Also heard from United Airlines. They are canceling flight into Newark International Airport and some of its New York hubs as well.
And there is this ripple effect, because yes we expect that these cancellations are going to be a tough go on people trying to travel within
the United States, but when you have all operations shut down at Newark airport with United, now you have a ripple effect in which international
flights will be impacted as well.
So, the moral of the story is if you're trying to get someplace by air, good luck. It may not happen, because we're talking about thousands
of cancellations. We do know that the trains are running. That's how I got here. But even that is touch and go as the storm continues to move in,
ANDERSON: And how long is this expected to last? And when you talk about this ripple effect, how long do these delays impact passengers going
forward? You're talking about cancellations into tomorrow. How long, though, could the backlog last? For our viewers you might be watching from
outside of the states looking to travel in or out, at this point.
MARSH: It could take a couple of days. It could take a few days. The reason why airlines will go ahead and cancel so many flights before
this storm even moves in is because what they want to avoid is a plane flying into a New York for example and getting stuck. When you have a
plane that is stuck that creates a bigger headache.
So the fact that they have canceled so many flights before this storm has even moved out is good news actually for travelers. That means they
can kind of get that ball rolling again a lot faster as opposed to if they had that plane stuck in a Boston, Philadelphia then you'd have a much
if I were to guesstimate, it could take two to three days before things start to get back to normal. But we really won't know until this
storm fully moves in and we see what the full impact is at that point, Becky.
ANDERSON: Well, good luck on that train home this evening. Your reporting for you. CNN's viewers from New York this evening.
Live from Abu Dhabi where it is slightly warmer, I have to say, but not too warm this evening, even. I'm Becky Anderson with Connect the
Coming up, a first for a U.S. President. The guest of honor at India's Republic Day parade. We're going to have the latest from President
Obama's trip to India. That is in about 10 minutes time on this show.
Firs up, though, life in the fast lane. We're going to show you have an ambitious road project in one Dutch city aimed to get the community
moving and improve the quality of life. That is the aim and that is this week's Transformation. Up next.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: The A2, a highway helping to connect The Netherlands with its neighbors, allows a free flow of traffic between
countries, except for one major spot: Maastricht. Here, the stream of cars hits a bottleneck, facing a 50 kilometer speed limit and a series of
unwelcome traffic lights.
JOHN AARTS, GOVERNMENT PARTNERS, A2 MAASTRICHT: And you see the highway running through the heart of the city in a residential area and is
very bad, because there's a lot of traffic on the highway, and a lot -- thousands of children -- have to go to school and follow the highway in the
middle of the city. It's crazy.
LU STOUT: So the city hatched a plan to help bring some sanity to the chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came up with this plan, a double stack tunnel, which gives even more capacity for the traffic then forecasts predicted.
You can build it in a very small area, which gives more opportunity for real estate development on top.
LU STOUT: Around 80 percent of the traffic flow will be redirected underground to the 2.3 kilometer double-decker tunnel. Regional and local
traffic will use the upper level and through traffic will use the lower one.
It will allow vehicles to travel 80 to 100 kilometers per hour, keeping up with highway speeds.
The thought is that with the highway hidden below, new opportunities for life above will emerge.
ROBE DE JONG, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT A2: The nice thing about our plan is that we not only make a solution for the traffic, for the cars,
but that we make a better Maastricht, that we connect the neighborhoods and that we make it attractive again.
LU STOUT: What will be known is the green carpet will include an estimated 30,000 square meters of new real estate development and a 5
kilometer long park. It's a plan with a price tag north of a billion dollars that the city hopes will help pay for itself.
DE JONG: Part of it is funded by the government, part of it we have to earn it for ourselves back. And we will do that through the real estate
-- 10 percent of the budget will be earned back by the real estate.
LU STOUT: With the tunnel expected to be completed in 2016, the overall project in 2025, Maastricht is looking forward to going from a city
split in two to a city that has come back together as one.
DE JONG: The heart of the old Maastricht is very strong, has beautiful shops, beautiful restaurants. But this part is lagging, is
behind. And it has no good connection, because of the A2 right now. And if we succeed in making that connection, Maastricht will be healed again,
and I think that's very important.
LU STOUT: A result the city can only imagine for now, but will continue to work for.
DE JONG: It will be green. It will have a lot of trees. And it will be crowded with people on bikes, on skates, maybe even on a horse. They
will be walking and they will be having fun here. And we won't see hardly any cars.
ANDERSON: This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour here on CNN.
And a group that monitors fighting in Syria says Kurdish fighters have claimed major gains against ISIS in the city of Kobani. Syrian Observatory
for human rights says the Kurds are now in control of at least 90 percent of the city.
Now it is strategically important because of its location on the Syrian border with Turkey.
The Nigerian terror group Boko Haram have taken over a key town, including an army barracks in the northern Borno state. Hundreds of
fighters also attacked the nearby state capital. Maiduguri, but were driven back by the military.
Egyptian state media today reporting that the sons of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have been released from prison. Gamal and Alaa
Mubarak have served 18 months, that is the maximum pre-trial detention allowed. They are accused of embezzlement and will face a retrial.
In Greece, Alexis Tsipras has been sworn in as prime minister a day after his left-wing Syriza Party swept parliamentary elections. He's also
taken the first steps in forming his anti-bailout coalition, choosing a small right wing party.
And U.S. President Barack Obama, he's on a landmark visit to India. He was a guest of honor at the country's Republic Day parade. Now that is
a first for a U.S. president. Mr. Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also been discussing trade and defense ties.
Well, our Ravi Agrawal gives us a look now into Mr. Obama's agenda and some, quote, "friendly moments," or what some are calling a bromance
between Mr. Obama and India's prime minister.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN NEW DELDHI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, it's a big day here in New Delhi where U.S. president Barack Obama became the first American to
be chief guest of India's Republic Day.
It was a day that showcased not only India's military might, but also the growing importance the relations between the world's two biggest
But speaking of military might, take a look at these pictures. We saw the army, the navy, the air force and floats from 15 different states
depicting their cultural heritage. We even saw a large contingent of camels, an important part of India's border security force.
But the larger takeaway from today's events and, indeed, the Obama trip to India is that both sides seem very keen to take ties to what
they're calling "the next level." We saw progress made on an important deal on civilian nuclear energy, which India needs if it really wants to
graduate to cleaner forms of power.
Announcements were made on increased defense ties and cooperation on counter-terrorism. And there was talk of boosting trade between the two
countries five-fold by 2025.
Perhaps the thing Indians will remember the most, however, is the fact that Mr. Obama has come to India not once, but twice. He is the first US
president to do so.
A number of commentators here in India have pointed out the chemistry between Obama and Modi. They looked warm and comfortable in each other's
company. They shook hands frequently. They even hugged. In the Indian media, it's being described as a "bromance," a real reset in relations
between the two countries.
On his last visit to India in 2010, President Obama said the US and India would form this century's defining partnership. Finally, that's
beginning to look less like hyperbole and more within the realm of possibility.
Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.
ANDERSON: So, we have India and the United States, the world's two largest democracies. You'd think they'd be natural allies, wouldn't you?
But in an opinion piece online, Ravi does note that the kinship between their leaders has been a bit of a surprise. Find out why and leave your
own thoughts, cnn.com.
And this programming note for you: CNN's Fareed Zakaria will set down with President Obama while he's in New Delhi to discuss a wide range of
topics. You can watch that exclusive interview starting 11:00 AM Tuesday London time, 3:00 PM here in Abu Dhabi, only on CNN.
All right, I want to move on for you tonight. Russian president Vladimir Putin is lashing out at the West over the latest fighting in
Eastern Ukraine. Now, he says Ukraine's army is nothing more than "NATO's foreign legion," I'm quoting here. He went on to say Kiev doesn't want to
seek a peaceful settlement to the conflict.
Well, NATO's secretary-general dismissed the accusation as nonsense. The exchange came on the same day that NATO allies and the Ukrainian
ambassador called a special meeting to discuss the flare-up -- the latest flare-up in the fighting.
Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins me now from Mariupol which, Nick, is a strategic port city on the Black Sea that has
been nothing if not a symbolic bulwark against the advance by separatists in recent months. Things have been relatively quiet there, though, of
late. What happened?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the attack last week, which appears, according to independent monitors of the
OSCE, to have been launched from separatists areas involving missiles that hit this town.
It was shortly followed by a declaration by the separatist leaders, Alexander Zakharchenko, that they were potentially going to attack this
town and try and seize it. It is, if you look, potentially at any strategic vision that the separatists have a key port city within the
Donetsk region that they've said they want to purge, now, of Ukrainian forces.
In fact, in just a day, the so-called defense minister of the separatists declared the Minsk Protocols -- that's effectively the peace
agreement, never really adhered to in the points, and never really actually came to fruition -- declared those dead.
So, people are very concerned, here, that the violence we saw last week, which took 30 lives -- and we've been to the place where those shells
landed. A lot of devastation around civilian apartment blocks. And we've been to the funerals of the first of 30 who will be buried in the days
ahead to see the sort of trauma it's inflicted on this town of nearly half a million.
The sense is that potentially this could be the next front line here. If you perceive, perhaps, a wider vision for the separatists, and maybe
Moscow's hand in that, there are some analysts who say perhaps Mariupol is partially on the way to creating a land corridor down to Crimea, which
Russia annexed earlier on this year -- last year.
A lot riding, really, on what happens here next. And regardless of the season -- it was thought that violence wouldn't pick up until summer,
given the freezing weather here -- the violence is picking up on many different fronts all around the region as these emboldened separatists
appear to be better equipped. Becky?
ANDERSON: Nick, offers of humanitarian aid, it seems, for Ukraine, just what sort of difference does that make?
WALSH: Well, there are many displaced, millions, it's said, in this whole region. And I should point out there are 5,000 people who've lost
their lives now as this conflict drags on and on. The weather here is obviously terrifying for those who don't have the heat and housing they
We saw ourselves today apartment blocks, the price of plastic sheeting, apparently, has gone up in this area simply because people are
rushing to fill over their windows from the damage the shell blasts of caused.
It's been, frankly, a conflict that's dragged on months longer than anybody actually expected. And the comments today from Vladimir Putin that
the Ukrainian army is, in effect, NATO's foreign legion got many deeply concerned about his attempt to, perhaps, rephrase this as a broader, more
strategic geopolitical war.
Although those comments were met with a stern response from the new NATO chief just earlier on today. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY GENERAL, NATO: This statement that there is a NATO legion in Ukraine is nonsense. There is no NATO legion. The
foreign forces in Ukraine are Russian.
So, I think that is, in a way, the problem, that there are Russian forces in Ukraine, and Russia backs the separatists with equipment. And we
have seen a substantial increase in the flow of equipment from Russia to the separatists in Ukraine. And I speak about heavy equipment and many
different kinds of equipment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: That's the deep concern here. We have a Russian president suggesting this is some broader effort by NATO to attack Russia. We have
Russian -- sanctions against Russia, which have done a huge amount of damage to the economy, but not, it seems, slowed Russian ambition here.
The fear is with this escalation and the violence here, and no real sign of a diplomatic solution in sight at all, exactly where does this go
in the weeks ahead. Becky?
ANDERSON: OK, Nick, thank you. And some news just coming into CNN as Nick was speaking, there. The United States says it is closing its embassy
in Yemen until further notice. Now, a statement we just received cites ongoing security concerns amid the recent resignation of the country's
president, prime minister, and the cabinet.
All of this follows Houthi rebels gaining power in the capital after kidnapping the former president's chief of staff and taking over the
presidential palace. Once again, the United States says it is closing its embassy in Yemen until further notice over security concerns. More on
that, of course, as we get it.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, he won a SAG award, but wasn't there to receive it. We'll tell
you why Kevin Spacey was in the Middle East instead, coming up in about ten minutes' time.
First up, though, it's two decades on, and Argentine Jews are still looking for answers to why they feel they are even further away from
getting justice over 1994 terror attacks in Buenos Aires.
ANDERSON: This is CNN. It is just about 40 minutes past 8:00 in the UAE. Welcome back, CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
Well, relations between the leaders of the United States and Israel may be frosty, to say the least, right now, but Israel's ambassador to
Washington says that Benjamin Netanyahu didn't mean to show disrespect to Barack Obama by accepting an invitation to address the US Congress in
Now, Ron Dermer told a gathering in Florida that his prime minister merely feels the need to speak up at a time when the US is trying to work
out a nuclear deal with Israel's longtime foe, Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE US: There may be some people who believe that the prime minister of Israel should have declined an
invitation to speak before the most powerful parliament in the world on an issue that concerns the future and survival of Israel.
But we have learned from our history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silenced.
DERMER: That is why the prime minister feels the deepest moral obligation to appear before the Congress to speak about an existential
issue facing the one and only Jewish state. That is not just the right of the prime minister of Israel, it is his most sacred duty to do whatever he
can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, there is also growing unease among the Jewish community in Argentina after the suspicious death of a state prosecutor
there. Now, Alberto Nisman was found dead a week ago, you may remember, after accusing the president of covering up details from what was the 1994
bombing of a Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. The journalist who first reported Nisman's death says he has fled the country in fear of his life.
Argentine Jews are demanding justice for the attack that Nisman was investigating. Our Shasta Darlington reporting now that the death of the
prosecutor has led many to believe that they will never get any closure.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A wall crashes down as rescuers scramble to find survivors after a car bomb
ripped through the Buenos Aires Jewish Center. Eighty-five people were killed, hundreds wounded.
Roberto Yabra was in his bakery a block and a half away. "How could I not remember?" he says. "I was right here. The blast blew through and
tore off my roof."
Argentina's worst-ever terrorist attack hit the large Jewish community hard. Now, the death of the man struggling to bring the perpetrators to
justice has sharpened the pain. "This is another bomb," he says. "The death of the prosecutor is another bomb for us. They keep throwing bombs
at us." No one was ever convicted for the bombing.
DARLINGTON (on camera): The new Jewish Center was built on the exact same spot, with the names of the 85 victims written across the front as
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Ariel Cohen shows us some of the few remnants of the original building. It's all that's left, he says. Now,
he's worried the investigation will die with Nisman.
Nisman took over the sputtering investigation a decade ago. He has long accused Iran of planning and financing the attack and said that
Hezbollah had carried it out. Iran has denied it. About two weeks ago, he accused the president and her foreign minister of trying to cover up for
Iran. His sudden death a new blow to Argentina and the Jewish community.
"We're Argentines, children of Argentines," he says. "All of Argentina is afraid right now." Thousands of people protested in front of
the Jewish Center last week, demanding a thorough investigation.
Sofia Guterman lost her only daughter in the blast. "It was a search that lasted seven days and seven nights," she says. "And then, the morgue
called us." She says now they must fight to get justice for the man who was fighting for her daughter.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Buenos Aires.
ANDERSON: Well, a new museum in Poland celebrates the rich history of its Jewish community. It also tells about the darkest chapter, the
Holocaust. Still, the curator tells my colleague Ivan Watson it is not a Holocaust museum per se.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This remarkable building is the Poland Museum of the History of Polish
Jews. It celebrated its grand opening just a few months ago, and it was built on the site of the infamous Warsaw Ghetto.
WATSON (on camera): Professor Barbara Kirsherblatt-Gimblett is the chief curator here. Now, why are you stressing that this is not a
BARBARA KIRSHERBLATT-GIMBLETT, CHIEF CURATOR, MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS: This is a story of a thousand-year history of Polish Jews.
The Holocaust is a very important event in that history, but it's not the whole history.
And here we are in the 1920s and 1930s gallery, one of the most vibrant periods of the thousand-year history of Polish Jews. A period of
extraordinary cultural creativity and political energy despite economic hardship and despite rising anti-Semitism in the late 30s.
This gallery deals with the Holocaust, which is set completely within the bulk quarters of occupied Poland. Occupied Poland was the epicenter of
the genocide. We try to show the process of separating and isolating Jews through forced labor, through humiliation, through marking, through a
series of steps, until finally, Jews are force to build the wall of the ghetto themselves.
Before the war, there were 3,300,000 Jews in Poland. And by the end of the war, 90 percent of them had been murdered.
WATSON: An entire civilization, arguably.
KIRSHERBLATT-GIMBLETT: Genocide. And not only did we lose that population, not only did we lose those people, but we also lost the world
that they created. And it is a mission of this museum to recover that world and to offer it, to transmit it to future generations.
WATSON: We've emerged from the darkness of the Holocaust to this explosion of color. What is this chamber?
KIRSHERBLATT-GIMBLETT: We're standing within a reconstruction of the ceiling, the painted ceiling, and the timber-framed roof of the wooden
synagogue that once stood in Berdychiv, which is today in Ukraine but was in Poland.
And the message is a message about the vibrancy and the vitality of the culture of Polish Jews in the course of a millennium. This was a life
that was lived in color. And this is a very important message as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
ANDERSON: Ivan Watson reporting there. And stories of strength and courage from Nazi survivors in our special "Voices of Auschwitz" with Wolf
Blitzer, Tuesday at noon and 9:00 PM GMT, that is 4:00 PM and 1:00 AM here in Abu Dhabi, right here on CNN, of course.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson for you. We'll take a very short break. Up next -- I'm going to tease you. I'm not going to
tell you. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson out of the UAE for you this evening. Welcome back.
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has won a SAG award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He wasn't there, though, to receive that award Sunday in
That is because he was here in the United Arab Emirates mentoring young actors. It is all part of a unique initiative called "Home Grown" to
foster talent in the region. I met with Kevin in Sharjah to find out more about his experience in the region.
ANDERSON: Kevin Spacey, what a joy. Thank you. You've just arrived. You've seen the talent. What do you think?
KEVIN SPACEY, ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTOR: It's so incredible, it's so exciting. I worked with 34 emerging actors for the last couple of
hours. And a lot of them in their roles in this particular piece that we've devised are speaking Arabic, so I've got someone who's telling me
what they're saying --
SPACEY: -- although I've read the play and watched it develop over the last number of weeks, and certainly since they all arrived here, about
a week and a half ago.
(MEN SPEAKING ARABIC)
IBRAHEM AL HAJAJ, HOME GROWN PARTICIPANT: It's my first time. I thought it would be difficult for me when I was back home. I was like, OK,
there's women. What's going to happen? But when I got here, everybody was really nice. It went really smoothly.
ANDERSON: The cultural differences are remarkable. What has struck you most, do you think?
SPACEY: I know that there is some degree of resistance, some degree of difficulty with tradition. Some even -- people might say some of these
things are a bit taboo. I remember when I went to Doha and I was told by the organizers as I got closer and closer to doing this workshop, well,
don't expect any women.
And I said, why? They said it's just not what's expected.
And I walked into that workshop, and out of 28 students, there were 13 women. And I remember I looked at the organizer and I went --
(WOMEN SPEAKING ARABIC)
AMINA ADEL, HOME GROWN PARTICIPANT: I'm involved in Home Grown because there are great opportunity to meet, to learn how to deal with new
people and know more about secrets of the theater.
(STUDENTS CLAPPING HANDS ON KNEES)
SPACEY: The thing that we want to do and what we're trying to do here and trying to encourage here is that, look, if a young person, an emerging
young writer or young director or young actor wanted to start out in the business, they have to leave their country and go to New York or to London.
And I believe that with all of the -- incredible facilities that are being built in regions like this, it's not good enough to just farm in
Cirque du Soleil. Start using these facilities to create workshops to develop talent, to develop people so that they can begin to tell stories
about their own culture. And that's why we call this program Home Grown. We're trying to nudge that idea.
(WOMAN SPEAKING ARABIC)
ABDUL JABBAR AL-SHUHILI, HOME GROWN PARTICIPANT: Being here has encouraged me to continue and encouraged my colleagues, who started to feel
hopeless, unfortunately. And in the future, I hope also more Yemenis come to this such program and develop the way or develop their skills and their
SPACEY: If we look at what's happening in many of these regions, where there's such turmoil and conflict and uncertainty, it's ripe for
storytelling. We shouldn't be afraid of it.
ANDERSON: So, what do you say to some of these young would-be actors who tell you that their parents have got no interest in them getting into
the world of performing arts?
SPACEY: That there's a lot of people in America whose parents felt exactly the same way about them wanting to become actors or ballet dancers
or musicians. That the arts are not a secure business.
I remember my own father was quite concerned that I'd chosen a business in which the guarantee of you becoming a success were very, very
remote. And he always wanted me to have something to fall back on. He was always encouraging me to go to college --
ANDERSON: What did he want you to do?
SPACEY: -- and get a degree. Oh, God knows what. But get a degree. And I remember he had this concern for a long time. My mother, on the
other hand, always believed I was going to make it. She just knew.
But I do remember that it wasn't until I was in a very successful play on Broadway -- it had won a lot of awards -- and my parents came in to see
it, and I was standing backstage with my father, and we were leaning up against a wall, and there was a group of people all in the room talking and
celebrating. And my dad finally said to me, "So --"
SPACEY: "This acting thing seems to be working out."
SPACEY: "Yes, Dad, it's working out."
ANDERSON: Kevin Spacey, there. Well, your Parting Shots this evening, we take you back to India. Barack Obama is the first-ever US
president to attend the sumptuous celebration of the country's constitution.
Thousands turned out to see the annual Republic Day parade, which mainly showcases India's military hardware, but also displays the softer
charms of musicians, dancers, and decorated floats from all corners of the country. A colorful cultural send-off for the Obamas.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here it is a very good evening.